Back in Sydney and living with my Mum.  My dear Dad had passed away a number of years ago.   I was able to score a job rather quickly.  Working for the Commonwealth Bank.  I still cringe about that.  How did I get a job working in a Bank?  It's not exactly my dream job, especially as it felt like I was working in a factory, clocking on and off with rigid rules in between.  I was frustrated that I could not think for myself.  I was used to having autonomy and making my own decisions. 

Oh well, it paid the bills.

It also helped to have an income coming in whilst Hubby tackled a Diploma in Parks and Gardens Design which enabled him to score a good job in Council.

Our eldest daughter attended the last year in Primary School and then went on to High School, going to the same one as Hubby went to years ago.  
That was a highlight for Hubby 😁

So things weren't too bad.  Mum seemed to be improving and we were saving for a well deserved holiday.  

In fact we took 2 holidays this year.  Barrington Tops and the Whitsundays.  



Barrington Tops is located a little north of the Hunter Valley.  We had a wonderful family holiday here staying in a cabin at the guesthouse.  Sadly,  Barrington Guesthouse is no more. It got burnt down a number of years ago and sadly has not been rebuilt.  
See the link above. 

It was our first experience staying at a huge guesthouse with lovely large shady verandah overlooking the valley below. It had everything going for it including great guesthouse buffet meals, bush walks, cold mountain streams and an awesome natural waterslide in the deep rock pool below.  They also arranged night bush walks to see the nocturnal animals.

Australia definitely has a need for more of this type of family holiday accommodation.  The people that we met came every year.  It was like a warm family get together.



1979 Hubby and I got married and had our honeymoon on Great Keppel Island at the lower end of the Whitsundays.  Back then we had the honeymoon caravan on the island.
Next visit to the Whitsundays was twenty years later in 1999 - a family holiday to Hamilton Island.
Hamilton Island is the main island of the Whitsundays and has a variety of accommodation from bungalows to hotel to apartments. We stayed in the Hibiscus Hotel.  The island doesn't have cars. You get around by golf buggy, cycle or there is a bus.
Flying into hamilton is awesome.  The view over all of the islands is stunning.  Best side of the plane to sit is the right hand side.
Our favourite memory was the big bucket of prawns.  Not sure if they do that anymore.   And these days it's probably a lot smaller. There's nothing like fresh prawns and a beer.  😁 
There are a number of day trips from Hamilton - snorkling, diving, to the famous Whitehaven Beach, 3 island cruise etc.  On Hamilton Island you can parasail, jet ski etc.
We did the Yellow Sub, Ragamuffin sailing and 3 island trips. Hubby and Kelli did their first dive.  One day we walked around to the quiet side of the island and had the whole bay to ourselves. That is until this sting ray rolled up and we all walked on water to the shore.  All of us but Dylan.  He was left in the water with the sting ray.  Actually we couldn't see the sting ray any more.  It must have got frightened by our big hellaballoo.   
Thank goodness for that!
A big dark storm lurked on the horizon so we had to leave.  Didn't quite make it home before it started to rain, and we all got soaked.  We were told to expect rain though as we did visit in January which is smack in the middle of the monsoon season up north. 
The best time to visit the Whitsundays to avoid the rain is between May and October.


In 2009 we visited Hamilton Island again and this time also stayed on the mainland.  Check out my 2009 blog. 

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